Engineering the Future of Software
November 13–14, 2016: Training
November 14–16, 2016: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

Platform as product: Serving the customer who serves the customer

Ryan Murray (ThoughtWorks)
1:15pm–2:05pm Tuesday, 11/15/2016
Location: Olympic
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 3 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to build successful platforms by focusing on key layers of abstraction, the key characteristics of a platform, and the essential role of treating a platform as a product by treating developers as customers
  • Description

    Whether an organization is an established leader, or breaking new ground, the mantra is always that we need to move faster. And of course, we need to scale. Architectural and development practices abound that should get us there: agile engineering, microservices, DevOps and so on. But it is not just the our software that needs to scale, but also our approach to delivering it. The DevOps revolution helped our teams solve cross-cutting problems faster by breaking down the barriers between teams. “Platform Thinking” takes up where DevOps leaves off by productizing unique cross-cutting technology and business capabilities as APIs for delivery teams to consume. At scale, we need to enable individual product teams to focus on delivering their products, not on delivering development or operations scaffolding. In this session, we will explore the characteristics of effective platforms and the importance of treating a platform as a product. Platform teams need to treat developers as customers, creating a focus on prioritizing what provides value to them. We give examples of organizational challenges that inhibit platform thinking and product management techniques that can help overcome organizational resistance and platform anti-patterns.

    Photo of Ryan Murray

    Ryan Murray


    Ryan Murray is the founder and director of the ThoughtWorks Digital Platform Strategy group. As a principal consultant with ThoughtWorks, Ryan has driven the multiyear platform architecture vision for a major US retailer and provides strategy and hands-on implementation support to a number of other clients in designing and implementing enterprise architectures, platforms, and applications. Ryan is a software technology professional and systems architect with more than 17 years of industry experience and has worked as both consultant and employee in the US, Europe, and the MENA region. Previously, Ryan worked as the director of engineering for several companies, including element^n, a enterprise and web application consulting and delivery firm,, a mobile, cloud-based MBaaS solution, and the Net Planet, s.p.a., an innovative search technology startup in Milan, Italy. Ryan has also served as a software architect for large distributed systems and a technical architect and technical consultant to a number of European and international firms, including Siemens (Germany, Italy), Humanis (France), Spazio ZeroUno (Italy), and Omnitel-Vodafone (Italy). Ryan holds a degree in molecular biology, genetics, and public policy from Duke University.